By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency
New York — November 20, 2015 … Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this morning, issued the following statement on the release of Jonathan Pollard:
“The people of Israel welcome the release of Jonathan Pollard. As someone who raised Jonathan’s case for years with successive American presidents, I had long hoped this day would come. After three long and difficult decades, Jonathan has been reunited with his family. May this Sabbath bring him much joy and peace that will continue in the years and decades ahead.”
Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard was released from US prison early this morning after 30 years. He was released from the federal prison in Butner, North Carolina, after serving a life sentence for passing classified information to an ally.
Greeted by his wife Ester, the couple are now in New York enjoying their first Shabbat dinner together outside of a government facility, according to Pollard’s lawyer.
Pollard is not free. He was released under strict parole conditions where he has to check in with a parole officer for a year and can be returned to prison for poor behavior. He is not permitted to leave the United States for five years, to give interviews or to go online, amid other conditions that are expected to be revealed Friday.
World renowned criminal lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who represented Pollard in the past, told The Jerusalem Post that although such parole conditions were not unprecedented, they are “totally irrational and abusive.”
Two Democratic Congressmen wrote to the Justice Department last week urging US Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch to grant the request, saying that Pollard would be willing to renounce his American citizenship and never return to the United States. They noted that a spy for Cuba was allowed to renounce his American citizenship and live in Cuba in 2013 after serving his sentence.
Nachman Shai, a lawmaker from the Israeli center-left Zionist Union who heads a Parliament (Knesset) caucus that pushed for Pollard’s release, wrote in a letter to Pollard that the group would “not cease its activity until we remove the limitations imposed upon you upon your release.
“We continue to demand the removal of any restriction on your freedom of movement, communication, or other violation of your rights,” Shai wrote. “We will not rest until you are free to depart the United States for any destination of your choosing, first and foremost Israel.”
Jonathan, the Jewish nation stands with you for all you sacrificed to keep Israel safe and secure.
We look forward to welcoming you soon at Ben-Gurion Airport.
Jerusalem, Israel — November 14, 2015 … If France and the rest of the EU want life saving Israeli intelligence and security information, they need to end their formal discrimination against Israel.
The European Commission – the EU’s executive arm – decided on Wednesday that products from Judea and Samaria (the so-called territories) won legally under international law by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War can no longer be sold in the 28-country EU as having come from Israel.
“Of the hundreds of territorial conflicts around the world, the EU chose to single out Israel and Israel alone, while it’s fighting with its back against the wall against Islamic terror,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
One export from the Middle East has arrived in Europe. It’s called Islamic Jihad. And as this lethal Jihad against all Christians and Jews claims hundreds of lives in Paris, Rome, Madrid and London there is no good reason why Israel should remain a scape goat for violence in the Middle East.
The UN and EU have no right to pass resolutions as to what is legal and what is not after a nation has been attacked in war and at the end of that war in which Israel was not the aggressor has won land.
The UN Charter does not grant the General Assembly, the International Court of Justice or the EU the authority to assign or affect ‘ownership’ of the Territories.
Examination reveals how over the years UN General Assembly resolutions and the wording of resolutions by sub-committees moves from “territories” to “occupied territories” to “Occupied Territories” and “Arab territories” to “occupied Palestinian territories” to “Occupied Palestinian Territory” and “occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem.
None of these terms have a legal foundation any more than declaring “the world is flat” makes it so. Yet, the International Court of Justice cites these terms as if they were legal documents, all in violation of the Court’s Statute.
If the EU wants Israel’s assistance, blatant discrimination against Israeli services and products produced in Judea and Samaria must stop. You can’t boycott Israel and attempt to destroy her existence and then expect Israel to kiss, hug and show you where the terrorists will be attacking next.
And if you truly want to boycott Israel – turn off your computers and telephones.
Several components were “Made In Israel”.
By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency
Jerusalem, Israel — November 14, 2015 … Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this evening issued the following statement regarding the Islamic terrorist attacks in Paris:
“On behalf of the people and Government of Israel, I extend our deepest sympathies to the people of France and to the families of those who were brutally murdered in Paris last night. We also extend our wishes for a speedy recovery to the wounded.
Israel stands shoulder-to-shoulder with France in this common battle against militant Islamic terrorism. I’ve instructed Israel’s security and intelligence forces to assist their French counterparts and their counterparts from other European countries in any way possible.
Terrorism is the deliberate and systematic targeting of civilians. It can never be justified. Terrorism must always be condemned. It must always be fought. Innocent people in Paris, like those in London, Madrid, Mumbai, Buenos Aires and Jerusalem, are the victims of militant Islamic terrorism, not its cause. As I’ve said for many years, militant Islamic terrorism attacks our societies because it wants to destroy our civilization and our values.
I call on the entire civilized world to unite to defeat the plague of worldwide terrorism. An attack on any one of us should be seen as an attack on all of us. All terrorism must be condemned and fought equally with unwavering determination. It’s only with this moral clarity that the forces of civilization will defeat the savagery of terrorism.”
French President Francois Hollande said today that ISIS was responsible for Friday’s series of deadly terror attacks. He called the coordinated attacks “an act of war.”
The Paris Police Prefecture said the death toll was at least 128. The spokesman said 180 people had been injured, 99 of whom were in critical condition.
Prime Minister Netanyahu made it clear that the global community must define what kind of terrorism France and all nations face today. If we cannot define the roots of the present terrorism as Islamic then how can we identify those responsible for these barbaric attacks?
This is not a time to be politically correct. Nor are we offending or provoking any religious group by calling this terrorism what it is. Israel and the rest of the world global community call on moderate Muslims to denounce and fight this extremist violence.
Israel News Agency
An Open Letter to Rabbi Richard Jacobs:
Jerusalem, Israel — November 8, 2015 … “Diaspora Jews should not support the misguided policies of Israeli leaders and that Israel should look to North America for moral guidance.”
Rabbi, if this is truly what you have stated then you have helped place the security of Israel in jeopardy.
Remember, Netanyahu won re-election by an overwhelming landslide. So then, it is not just “Israeli leadership” but almost all Israelis who by your definition are “misguided”.
We do not have a perfect government. And yes, the Ultra Orthodox may have too much power – but how dare you tell Jews in the US and in Europe not to support the Jews in Israel while they are being stabbed to death – not due to any occupation – but rather directly due to Islamic Jihad.
Do you know what Jihad is?
It is an unforgiving Islamic holy war against both Jews and Christians.
I know. I watched the World Trade Center fall.
I served in the IDF for 18 years.
I have stepped over the warm bodies of Jewish victims of terror.
You want Israel to turn to America for “moral guidance”.
What do Americans know about our internal and external security concerns in Israel?
Why not go on IDF or border police patrol with me for a month in and around Jerusalem and see for yourself what we are up against?
Rabbi, my son now serves proudly in the Israel Air Force.
Do you now want to tell him directly to his face what you have stated to thousands of Jews in the US – to turn your backs on fellow Jews who are being attacked daily with knives, bullets and missiles?
It was a real time rocket attack from Gaza targeting Jews in Israel.
Rabbi – why are they attacking Jews in Israel?
Is it that we are “occupying” Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa or is it Islamic Jihad?
Please do not lecture me and my fellow Jews who live in Israel on tikkun olam.
I have served, risked my life as an Humanitarian Officer at security checkpoints in Israel.
We treat Israeli Arabs with care, understanding and respect.
Please do not tell me how you support Israel when you dismiss our biblical land – Judea and Samaria.
This land was never occupied. This holy land was returned to Israel at the end of the 1967 war.
If you want to say this land is “occupied” then please show me a picture of Arafat and yourself kissing.
“Occupied land” in Israel was an Arafat invention supported by millions of petro dollars and a firm belief in Jihad.
When you attack the Israeli government you attack each and every Israeli.
You want us to try harder for peace?
Perhaps you could travel to Rahmallah and convince Abbas to meet with Netanyahu.
The Palestinian Authority has rejected every peace offer made to it.
Yet you blame their negligence on Israel!
Two state solution?
Sure, when the Arabs recognize the Jewish state and bury their quest for Jihad.
And you say you support Israel?
You know and even state that our enemies will use any and all criticism publicly made against Israel.
Yet you give them ammunition. And today our enemies are using your exact words!
Why do you support their incitement against our very lives.
No sweat for you and your family in your warm, manicured New York suburban home.
Much sweat for my children and their friends as we live under constant rocket and daily stabbing terror attacks.
Please tell me how you plan to make peace with Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, the PA and ISIS?
I’m waiting. So is my son who wears a uniform defending the Jewish nation.
I have had the good opportunity of attending a Reform synagogue for the past few years.
I have gained much respect for both the Rabbi and his kind, dedicated Jewish community.
Your position on Israel does not reflect the Reform Jews who I have come to respect and embrace.
Your blatant, destructive attack against Israel, advocating for Jews to attack our government makes me sick.
I once had the opportunity to meet and hear Kahane. He made me sick as well.
After announcing that he does not represent Israel, I got up from my seat and made it to the nearest exit. His racist chants were not to be tolerated. But yet you make it sound as though my Israel is saturated with Kahane type characters. If they exist and their price tag attacks manifest, which is rare, we apprehend this extreme minority aberration within minutes.
You slander Israel.
You slander those of us who take enormous pride in all that is wonderful about Jewish values and Jewish life.
You want to affect change – come live in Israel.
Serve in the Israel Defense Forces.
Join our government.
Learn the realities.
Then dance and talk.
By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency
Tel Aviv, Israel — November 5, 2015 … Twenty years ago I was given the task to remember.
To make sure the world remembered.
While producing Israel’s first commercial Website – NetKing – our work was diverted to create the first interactive, social networking, humanitarian Website.
A Website for an Israel Prime Minister who was just murdered a few hours earlier.
Former Prime Minister of Israel
Yitzhak Rabin was an Israeli politician, statesman and general.
He was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel,
serving two terms in office, 1974–77 and 1992 until his assassination in 1995.
On a warm November evening in 1995 I was sitting at a Cafe in Tel Aviv enjoying drinks with a friend. A nearby TV in a kiosk across the street blurted out the news. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin had been shot.
Rabin had just finished addressing a Peace Rally about a mile away, when an assassin crept up behind the war hero and fired shots at point blank range.
Silence fell all around us, people were in tears – shocked with frozen stares. As I was on the bus heading home, the bus’s radio announced that Rabin was dead. The old women sitting in front of me and the young soldier standing alongside began to sob. The last time I encountered a dreadful situation as this was when President John Kennedy was assassinated. I fell asleep listening to the TV.
I was awoken at about 2 a.m. by Arnon Katz. Arnon was the general manager of NetKing – the first Internet advertising and marketing portal established in Israel. NetKing was a division of one Israel’s top five advertising agencies – Tamir, Cohen (Jacobson) Advertising.
“We have to do something”, Arnon announced. I suggested a condolence page. As deputy manager of NetKing, I knew that we had all of the tools in place.
We had a programmer, a CGI specialist, a graphic artist and I would do the copy. Having degrees in psychology and marketing also helped. I knew that at a time like this, people have a need to “do something” – to find a means to express their collective sorrow. And their was no better vehicle than the Net.
Within four hours we had a page up and I called CNN and Yahoo. Back in 1995, if any sites were truly busy – these were the first. They immediately took our page and placed it in the center of the news. The Associated Press and Reuters were also quick to pick up the story and passed it onto thousands of newspapers, TV and radio stations worldwide. By the end of the day on November 5, we had a CGI illustrating flickering candles, a CGI with thousands of condolence messages and another CGI with a photographic history of the late Prime Minister.
On the morning of November 6th, a CNN crew came to our studio in Tel Aviv and interviewed Katz.
The Internet was coming alive with something warm, humane and very touching. Never before had people combined the computer and telephone lines to demonstrate their feelings.
The Net for the most part was a passive toy. You could read the news on CNN, send e-mail – if someone had the Net and maybe find something of academic interest on Yahoo. Agency.Com was using stickers on plain white folders as brochures.
These were the pioneering days. Not knowing if the Net was to become obsolete within a few weeks like the “pet rock” or the Spice Girls! The Net was a novelty. And this site very well suited the Net, a culture which had maintained a non-commercial existence.
The owners of NetKing wanted to cash in on the commercial side. They were and are among the most professional advertising executives in the world, but knew nothing of Internet culture. And what made it even more difficult was that this was a Condolence site. As I look back, I can understand that they had invested a lot of money to set up this Internet unit and wanted to show that it was at least paying for itself. Roni Cohen and David Tamir deserve credit beyond articulation for their Internet foresight. But this was not the time or place for neon lights – not yet.
As news of the Rabin Condolence site spread quickly from New York to Japan, we had problems maintaining the server. We were strangers in a strange land. We never anticipated so many hits per minute, per hour. We worked 18 hour days to improve and maintain the site. Proofing the messages took hours.
From over a half million messages, only two had to be removed for hate content. A mirror site was set up in the States – just in case…
The team at NetKing, was only few weeks away from officially launching a site which offered everything under the sun. None of us ever imagined that Israel’s first commercial portal would rise out from obscurity on the heels of tragedy. Messages of sympathy poured in from every continent for the Rabin family and the people of Israel.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry, which had just launched their own site, quickly made the NetKing Condolence page – the official Condolence site for the State of Israel. This was history. For the first time on the Net, hundreds of thousands of monitors had moved away from CNN and Yahoo to participate actively for a public, social cause.
Before Facebook, before Twitter – rather than reading news stories, the Internet community was now writing condolences and lighting animated candles.
By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency
Jerusalem, Israel — November 5, 2015 … In a joint operation, the Israel Security Agency and the Israel Police, on 18 October 2015, arrested Nassrin Hassan Abdallah Hassan. Hassan is a 40-year-old Israeli citizen married to a Palestinian man who resides in the Gaza Strip, where she has lived in recent years.
In the context of her investigation by the ISA, it was learned that Hassan was recruited in October 2013 by the Kataeb al-Mujahaddin, a terrorist organization whose members have committed several attacks – including rocket attacks – against Israeli civilians in recent years.
Hassan said that she was recruited to carry out terrorist attacks inside Israel – in view of her being an Israeli citizen free to enter and move within Israel.
On two separate occasions while in Israel (January and July 2014), in accordance with instructions she received from her operators from the Gaza terrorist organization, Hassan collected intelligence on Israeli government buildings and infrastructure in Haifa, including Haifa Port, the railway station, the Interior Ministry branch, a courthouse and a synagogue, including the security arrangements in these places.
Upon Hassan’s return to Gaza she passed this information to the terrorist organization, fully aware that the information was intended to be used for Islamic terrorist operations against Jews.
In addition to collecting intelligence for terrorist attacks, Hassan was asked, and agreed, to commit attacks in Israel for Kataeb al-Mujahaddin and received training in bomb preparation.
Acting on the instructions of her operators, Nassrin turned to a number of Israeli civilians in order to recruit them for the organization’s terrorist activities. Her recruitment efforts were unsuccessful.
These were serious actions undertaken by an Israeli citizen, who is a member of a Gaza terror organization and assisted them in their efforts to commit attacks against Israel while cynically exploiting her Israeli citizenship.
Criminal charges were filed against Nassrin today in Be’er Sheva District Court.